In John 12, the public ministry of Jesus comes to a close. He will spend the remaining time before his crucifixion preparing his disciples. But before that, in Jesus' concluding words to the crowds, He tells them that He is going to be lifted up (crucified) and his crucifixion is part of his exaltation. His crucifixion shall bring judgment to the world, defeat satan and be the means by which He draws all men to himself. John also aids our understanding of Jesus' words by explaining that Jesus is the Suffering Servant Isaiah saw and prophesied about.
John presents us with a powerful contrast between two people. John intentionally juxtaposes two people for us, both of which are close and dear to Jesus. One treasures Jesus and worships him and the other is lured away and enticed by the pleasures of this world and falls away, leading to his damnation. This text should stand as a sobering warning for us all to keep our hearts from becoming deceived and thus treasuring anything more than Christ.
When Jesus’ dear friends find their brother deathly ill, they send for him to come and heal him. Jesus delays in order to do a more magnificent and glorious work through Lazarus’ death than through his healing. Before many witnesses, Jesus reveals himself to be the one who can bring the dead to life and invites each of us to believe he is the resurrection and the life. The resurrection of Lazarus is a clear symbol of the work Jesus carried out by dying a substitutionary death on the cross. To save Lazarus he, willingly walks into enemy territory to surrender his own life, also securing eternal life for all of God’s children.
This week we are pleased to welcome guest preacher, Pastor Doug Payne.
In John 9, the disciples, confused by the suffering of a man born blind from birth, ask Jesus, whose sin caused the man's blindness. Jesus' answer directs the disciples not to the cause but the purpose of the man's blindness. Jesus teaches us that our suffering is not meaningless. In everything that happens to us, God has a purpose and a desire to bring glory to his Name through either our deliverance or by supplying sustaining grace that keeps us trusting and satisfied in Jesus.
The “vertical” dimension of worship has a tension between reverence and immanence when we are in the presence of God. It can be difficult to know the right way to intimately express our pain to God without crossing over into disrespect. Habakkuk is a short book, but it shows a prophet struggling with God about the destruction and suffering that is about to take place. We will look at the worship song that ends the book to get ideas on how to encounter with our pain—and to use a short template to do it well.
We pick up this morning in John chapter 8 in the midst of a scandalous conversation between Jesus and his hearers in the temple. This conversation quickly escalate such that the crowds hurl insults and slurs at Jesus and He very plainly tells them, you can’t receive me or my words because of your spiritual paternity. And interspersed throughout the conversation, Jesus shares several incredible glorious truths about himself and what He is offering them (and us), nothing less than freedom from sin, safety from death and eternal life.
Today is a day for fathers to be thankful to God for the gift of fatherhood. And it is a day to recognize and be reminded of the role and responsibility of fathers. This morning we recognize the importance of a father’s work in teaching and equipping his children such that they would know, love and obey God. And as a result, live lives under the banner of God's blessing.